Ryder Cup Postponed, Irish Open Prospects

It has been confirmed that the 2020 Ryder Cup will move to the same venue of Whistling Straits, Wisconsin in 2021 and that Ireland’s next hosting of the global event will also shift twelve months to September 2027.

That carries extra weight as it will be the centenary year of the battle between the best golfers of Europe and the United States.

There had been hope that the tournament might still have gone ahead as scheduled, potentially without spectators but that was never a popular choice among players and with the worsening situation on Covid-19 transmission across multiple US cities and states the decision was no real surprise.

We carried the story that it was the likely outcome back on June 23rd when we said:

Speculation is mounting that the Ryder Cup will shortly become the latest major sporting contest of 2020 to switch to one year later.

 

Construction on the spectator facilities at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin has barely begun and yesterday it was announced that the US PGA in August would be held behind closed doors in San Francisco.

 

If the delay is announced it could be made at the same time as opening the door for the staging of the Dubai Duty free Irish Open at Mount Juliet on what would have been the Ryder Cup weekend. The Irish Open is one of the high profile Rolex Tour events that the European Tour has prioritised to be played if circumstances permit.

We can only wait now to see if the final part of that scenario comes through with a decision from the European Tour expected in the coming weeks.

The Tour got back under way this morning in Austria and will then go to England and Wales for a six week swing starting with the Betfred UK Masters.  Two additional events in early to mid September have been added in Spain and Portugal and there are hopes that Mount Juliet might then host the Irish Open, four months after its original dates in September.

The decision to reschedule The Ryder Cup was made based on guidance from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County

“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.

“It became clear that our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call.”

“The Ryder Cup is rightly celebrated as one of the world’s greatest sporting occasions, made special and totally unique in our sport by the fervent atmosphere created by the passionate spectators of both sides,” added Guy Kinnings, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director.

“While that point is significant, it is not as important as the health of the spectators which, in these difficult times, is always the main consideration. We considered all options including playing with a limited attendance but all our stakeholders agreed this would dilute the magic of this great occasion.

“We therefore stand beside our partners at the PGA of America in the decision to postpone The Ryder Cup for a year and join with them in extending our thanks to the PGA Tour for their willingness to help by moving the date of the Presidents Cup.

With the decision to play The 2020 Ryder Cup in September 2021, all subsequent Ryder Cups after Whistling Straits will also shift to odd years.

Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome will host in 2023, followed by Bethpage in new York in 2025 and then Adare manor in 2027.

Europe are the reigning Champions having lifted the Ryder Cup trophy in 2018 at Le Golf National in Paris

“Rescheduling the Ryder Cup was never going to be an easy decision given the many factors to take into consideration,” said Padraig Harrington, Europe’s Team Captain for what will now be 2021.

“But I believe it is the right assessment given the unprecedented circumstances we are facing at this time.”

“When you think of the Ryder Cup you think of the distinctive atmosphere generated by the spectators, such as around the first tee at Le Golf National two years ago. If that cannot be responsibly recreated at Whistling Straits in September, then it is correct that we all wait until it can be.”

“I know, right now, that September 2021 feels like a long time away. But it will come around quickly and I guarantee that the European players and I will be ready when it does.”

 

 

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